“The poems in Vigil are full of the song that arises from a skillful mind in concert with a fine and passionate heart.”
“Alexander Long’s exciting Vigil, with its Whitmanesque embrace of a world filled with music, literature, history and the everyday ‘rotting angels / We are,’ is a vast landscape embraced by a masterful voice.”
“More than anything else, Alexander Long has subject, and with honed and original craft, this makes for voice, makes for poems we can believe and care about, enter and learn a little more of what it means to be human, to be here . . . . Long knows about the surface of poems, how to keep them fresh in syntax even though there is a story to be told, a part of a life to be examined. He knows telling detail and specificity that land a reader immediately in a scene. He knows phrasing and image-making in support of the emotional truth of the poem. He is never writing to the trend. Yet, you will hear an original rhythm, and where appropriate, like a jazz musician, you will hear homage, a riff quoted from a master. His work is mature; he has something to write about; it’s soul-making.”
Alexander Long was born and raised in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania. He’s worked as a musician, fry cook, and obituary writer. With Christopher Buckley, he is co-editor of A Condition of the Spirit: the Life & Work of Larry Levis (Eastern Washington University Press, 2004). His poems, essays, and book reviews have appeared in American Writers (Charles Scribner’s Sons), Blackbird, The Cream City Review, 5 AM, Pleiades, Poetry International, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, Quarter After Eight, Quarterly West, Rivendell, Solo, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He is a member of the writing faculty at West Chester University and writes, plays, and tours with the band Redhead Betty Takeout.